A jury recently awarded $900,000 to a former employee of the Texas Commission on Human Rights (which is now called the Texas Workforce Commission, Civil Rights Division) in her case against the state agency.
Marilou Morrison sued the state agency, which is responsible for enforcing anti-discrimination laws, for firing her in retaliation for complaining about discrimination against the agency’s own employees.
Morrison had worked for the Texas Commission on Human Rights for 24 years. She claimed that shortly after she complained about an allegedly discriminatory firing, she was disciplined for taking 2½ hours of leave without prior permission and for not closing 32 cases between September and November. The agency placed Morrison on administrative leave shortly after she filed the charge with the EEOC. She was later fired.
The jury awarded Morrison $300,000 in back pay, $300,000 in compensatory damages and $300,000 in attorneys' fees.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- Investigate, follow up on all harassment cases
- Don't tolerate insubordination, rudeness
- Feel free to expand candidate search even if your policy favors hiring from within
- Good news: The clock eventually runs out on negligent hiring after you've fired worker